Some of the most common problems we see at our practice today are overweight and obese cats. Like all animals, cats gain weight if they consume more calories than they burn, so naturally, the main reason for feline obesity is simply having access to – and eating – too much food.
Your cat doesn’t need as much food as you think. In fact, a 7-pound cat requires between 0.6 -1 ounce of food per meal, with an average of 2-4 small meals per day! The feline diet requires approximately 35-45% protein and 40% fat, and in the wild, this need would be satisfied with a juicy mouse or small bird.
How do I know if my cat is overweight?
Generally, if your cat looks like he’s overweight – he probably is! However, the best way to tell if your kitty’s overweight is to feel his waistline: Run your hands down his body from ribs to hips – you should be able to feel his ribs without too heavy of a fat presence. And once you arrive at his hips, you should he able to feel an indentation! If you can’t, your kitty likely needs a weight loss plan.
How Can I help My Cat Lose Weight?
Feed your cat a high-quality pet food with high protein and fat content according to their activity levels. Obviously, a sedentary cat requires less food than an active one. In addition, limit “free choice” feeding and carbohydrate-filled foods and treats. Lastly, you should provide your cat with plenty of interactive toys to maintain their attention spans and activity levels.
A safe weight loss for cats timeframe is about a half of a pound over a 4-week period; however, before you begin a kitty weight loss plan, take your cat to your vet for a wellness checkup! Your vet will properly assess your cat’s health, blood-work and nutritional needs to ensure your kitty can handle a weight-loss regimen.
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